Dozens run to help veterans

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This story was originally published by WSIL TV.

MARION, Ill. — More than 50 people gathered at the Marion VA Hospital to run for a good cause.

Team Red, White and Blue’s annual ‘Run For One 5k’ was held in honor of Marine Veteran Clay Hunt. Hunt suffered from PTSD and took his own life in 2011 at the age of 28.

The run is a local version of a nationwide effort to combat veteran suicides, with similar runs held across the county.

Cynthia Watts has been with the program for 13 years and says that, while things are getting better, spreading the word that help is available for veterans is crucial to saving their lives.

“Not only are you touching that veteran’s life, but you’re touching their family, their friends, the community, because we know that if one person were to end their life, it effects the entire community,” said Watts, Case Manager at Marion VA.

The run in Marion started in 2012 and organizers say at that time it was small and only had a few people participate.

Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts can call the 24-hour Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 1-800-273-8255, press 1.

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